Tuesday December 5, 2023

In NBA First, Clippers Launch Direct-to-Consumer Streaming Option

  • New 'ClipperVision' to offer six live streams.
  • Team will charge $199.99 for 74 games this season.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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Peyton and Eli Manning’s popular “ManningCast” for “Monday Night Football” has popularized so-called “MegaCasts.”

With the NBA poised to tip off its new season on Tuesday, leave it to Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer to offer fans a direct-to-consumer streaming platform with more options than ever before. 

On Monday, the Clippers announced the launch of “ClipperVision” — a streaming service with six live viewing options with no cable subscription necessary.  

Among the in-market offerings: 

  • “BallerVision” with live commentary from Clippers legends like Jamal Crawford, Baron Davis, and Paul Pierce.
  • An augmented reality “CourtVision” stream with graphics for real-time shot probability and statistics.
  • Korean and Spanish-language calls of the game.

During a talk with reporters, Ballmer, former chief executive officer of Microsoft, said he’s been mulling a direct-to-consumer strategy since buying the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014. 

“We’re trying to think about: How do we transform the experience our fans can have watching the game?” said the Clippers owner. 

The team developed “ClipperVision” via a partnership with Bally Sports, the NBA, and the league’s NextGen platform.

The service will cost $199.99 (less than $17 a month) for 74 games this season. Fans can sign up starting Monday, Oct. 17, and the first live stream will be Saturday, Oct. 22 (Clippers at Sacramento Kings).

It will also offer video-on-demand and be available to out-of-market and international Clippers fans via NBA League Pass.

Basketball fans won’t need a pay-TV subscription to access “ClipperVision,” and buyers get a Clippers-branded jacket and regular-season access to Bally Sports+. 

“BallerVision” will be part of all 74 “ClipperVision” games this season. Ballmer described the free-wheeling stream as “guys sitting at the barbershop, waiting for a haircut, watching the game — and talking.”

And, yes, the animated team owner will make guest appearances along with celebrity Clippers fans.

The new “ClipperVision” won’t impact the franchise’s existing linear TV deals. Fans will still be able to watch games in the Los Angeles market on Bally Sports SoCal and the KTLA broadcast network. 

The NBA, meanwhile, has been ramping up its own “MegaCasts.” The league debuted the new “HooperVision” with Crawford and Quentin Richardson on NBA League Pass last season. 

The league’s 76th season tips off Tuesday night with an Opening Night doubleheader on TNT featuring the Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers at the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. 

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